Hall of Memories – Part 1

by anna on January 13, 2012

in Anna's Blog

I am a member of a wonderful Facebook group called CF Originals (founded by Christi Friesen). The other day another member, a talented clayer named Renate Ridley posted a picture of one of her first polymer clay creations, a lovely Rose and Blueberry sculpture. That made me think and remember my first clay works and all the countless mistakes I’ve made :). Today I want to share a part of them with you, so you can have a good laugh 🙂 and remember your first experiences. As to those of you who are just starting on the road to polymer, these stories will hopefully save you the pain I felt all the way :).

Up on the left is the very first piece I’ve made using polymer clay – the Unexpected Spring necklace. The focal flower bead is made of clay.

Right here is the star of the show :). Oh, man, what didn’t I do wrong with that! I didn’t have the slightest clue about polymer clay when I made this. Back in my home country (Russia) I worked with plasticine and when I first came to America I did food sculpture.

Plasticine does not require conditioning. So, I didn’t condition my clay. I took it out of its package, laid on my table, pulled out my flower cookie cutter and cut right through the whole block of clay :D. That slightly deformed my cookie cutter. I marveled at what a hard material polymer clay is, and trimmed the bead with a knife to the right thickness.

Then i made a hole in it. Nobody told me to bake beads on needles or wires, so I didn’t. I put it right on a tile (nobody told me to put something underneath it either) and stuck it in the oven. I did not have an over thermometer :). Too high of the temperature and uneven heating caused the bead back to form little caverns. In addition, the bead hole left without any support closed on itself, leaving only 2 little separate openings. So, the wire you see here is actually 2 pieces of wire glued into these openings. I didn’t know at the time that you can drill the clay :).

Well, when the bead finally baked, I pulled it out. The clay I got was sort of colorless, with a slight greenish tint. I thought it was good; I didn’t want to start working with bright colors right away. It was dark in the room. I looked at my baked bead and noticed that it glows in the dark :D. That was the clay I got – glow-in-the-dark. That taught me to always read the labels before buying any clay :).

Well, a glow in the dark bead didn’t go along with my design, so, I pulled out my acrylic paint and covered the bead with a few layers of it. Horrendous caverned back was disguised with a pattern drawn in glitter glue. Then I covered it with a thick layer of glaze. Then I glued the chain links and the glass marble to it. Glass marble taught be another lesson – unless you love bubbles, do not use glue over a thick layer of glaze :).

After all, I did manage to string it, didn’t I? 😀

In the next part I will tell you about other pits I fell into on my hard road to polymer clay. On the left: the second thing I made out of polymer clay, the Sing of the Sea necklace. Stay tuned!

To be continued…

Meanwhile, if you have any funny stories like this one, I’d be happy if you shared them with me :).


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